Soulfallen
Grave New World


3.5
great

Review

by Irad USER (6 Reviews)
April 3rd, 2009 | 30 replies | 6,848 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Soulfallen return with their sophomore effort, Grave New World, brandishing much of the same elements seen in their debut with a few changes. The band’s debut, World Expiration, garnered some positive reviews and got them some well deserved attention from the Finnish (as well as global) metal scene, but then they had to face the same question that every other band with a good debut album has to face: would they be able to better or at least equal it with their second?

Grave New World sees the band using the same formula as in the debut: apocalyptic lyrics, dark and melodic guitar works complimented by synths and the use of both death growls and black metal screams, and though they used the same elements, the improvement and maturity here is quite evident.

The band only went through one line-up change as their previous drummer left during the recording of this album. Still, this can be seen as a positive omen as new drummer, Matti Auerkallio has shown that he is more than capable filling the boots of his predecessor. Whereas the drumming in the previous album was more laid back, this album sees a more aggressive take to it. An example of which, can be heard right at the beginning of the songs, Embrace the Scythe and Serenity's Throne. Though more aggressive, Soulfallen’s music requires the drumming tempo to be brought down quite often because of the darker, more moodier moments in their songs with which Matti Auerkallio has complied quite impressively.

One aspect of the band’s music that one would find unique is that the synths on both this album and the debut were done by Finnish composer and producer Hannu Honkonen, who has also worked with Swallow the Sun as well as multiple film scores. His work on the Soulfallen’s debut was used to add to dark atmosphere created by the guitars and even composed one whole song for the band (Machiavellian Night Descends). On this album he provides the same services but with a heavier dosage and although his work does have its moments, the heavier amount of synths can be annoying at times, like in the opening track A Hearse With No Name where the synth produced orchestration is a quite overbearing. The song however is saved by some fantastic and melancholic lead guitar work. The main damage done by the heavier synths is that they at times drown the riffs completely, giving the impression that they’re being used as a back up for synths rather than the other way around.

What makes the synths covering up the riffs worse is that the guitar works have improved on this album. Tighter riffing and some excellent lead guitar works, help carry the album forward. They are still the main driving force of the music and the two guitarists have worked hard to put out some memorable tunes examples of which can be heard in the intro of the song This World Is Bleeding Flies and in the chorus of the song Towers of Silence. The solos are also amazingly melodic and are filled with despair, sadness and other such dark emotions and so perfectly fitting the themes used by the band. Though these moments produced by the guitarists are the highlights of the album, one is still left feeling that there could have been a few more here and there to help improve the overall sound of the album.

The first album saw the band bringing in a female singer for one song and tried to pull off something a bit Draconian-ish and it did come off quite well. The band brought in another guest singer for the closing track of this record as well, but unlike the closer of the last album, the one here is quite poor. The song, We Are the Sand, features clean vocals from Lars Eikind who also sings for Before the Dawn and though his voice has that quality to sound very sad and mournful, his effort here just came of as laughable and completely ruins the song, making up for a very disappointing end to an otherwise solid album, which brings us to the aforementioned question… Is this better or at least equal to the debut? It does indeed come very close although this took a much greater time to sink in, unlike the first album. Great melodic instrumentation is blighted by some overused synths and minor songwriting scuffs, but the album still stands strong as a worthy listen.

Recommended Tracks:
This World Is Bleeding Flies
Towers of Silence
A Hearse With No Name
Serenity's Throne




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Comments:Add a Comment 
jingledeath
April 3rd 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

didn't like this at first but it grew on me after multiple listens

gaslightanthem
April 3rd 2009



5209 Comments


probably not my thing but cool review

lauriej
April 3rd 2009



1710 Comments


your reviews are very professional, good job man

jingledeath
April 3rd 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks dudes, i had some help with the proof reading lolThis Message Edited On 04.03.09

Hawks
April 3rd 2009



33363 Comments


First album was great. I'll check this one out eventually.

Willie
Moderator
April 3rd 2009



15774 Comments


Great review, getting better with each one.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

jingledeath
April 4th 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks guys and yeah Hawks you're definitely going to like this

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review Jingle, like Laurie said, your reviews are very professional.

I am going to look this up since I really like dark, melodic metal.

Digging: Metsatoll - Karjajuht

jingledeath
April 6th 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cool, if you want a preview then go check the comments section of the previous album. there's a video posted there.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well finally got around hearing some songs from theire myspace. The three I listened to were pretty decent so I'll get the whole album. But my god how recycled the drum patterns were, that seriosly annoyed me. Still hoping that the album will impress.

jingledeath
April 11th 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good to hear you liked them but give it time. I gave the album a 3 initially but it's a grower and if you like this then try out the debut cause it's a lot better but the drum works on it don't really shine so they sounded a lot better here.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

HAHA I think that the drums (like said above) are waaaaaay to recycled here. The vocals didn't click on the first listen, but have started to grow on me now. Needs more listening to rate it correctly though, but it is looking like a 3.5 or a 4 in the moment.

Off topic, its a bit sad that this has only about 150 views, quality review.

fireaboveicebelow
April 11th 2009



6837 Comments


I'm on the same page as you metalstyles but this is enjoyable for a while

jingledeath
April 11th 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

HAHA I think that the drums (like said above) are waaaaaay to recycled here. The vocals didn't click on the first listen, but have started to grow on me now. Needs more listening to rate it correctly though, but it is looking like a 3.5 or a 4 in the moment.

damn i didn't think the drums would bring down the album that way. well at least it didn't for me and the vocals didn't bother me at all, they were pretty good imo but oh well.

Off topic, its a bit sad that this has only about 150 views, quality review.

thanks man :D

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

naah the vocals don't bring it down, like said (once again above:D) they have started to grow on me. The drums on the other hand are bad, on the first song they are rather enjoyable, then I heard the second song and thought that the drumming is awfully samey to the first track, then I reached tracks 3 and 4 and was like "damn, again the same drumming patterns, fuck". Finnish drummers are usually very creative (Heiki Saari for example is one of my all time favourites) but the man behind the drums here should undoubtably be replaced.

jingledeath
April 11th 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha that would be harsh, he just got his job!

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well the world is a cruel place HAHA, replace him!, suggestively with Heikki Saari;)

jingledeath
April 11th 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well then i guess they could use someone more creative along with an actual keyboard player.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2009



8221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

OH yeah, who plays the synths in their live gigs anway? Or do they play them at all?

jingledeath
April 11th 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i have no idea what they sound like live but they have to play it somehow. it's an important part of their music.



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